Big Man built a mighty fine chicken coop for the chickens.
It has cozy nesting boxes, more than enough room for roosting, a luxurious carpet of hay, a feeder and fresh water, and windows on all four sides that can be closed for chilly nights or rainy days. We locked the 9 that we could catch in there for four days to get them sensing that it was their home, and not the milk room of the barn. We also cleared out all the scrap metal that they had been roosting on in there.
If I were a chicken, I would love the coop, I thought.
Well, I am apparently not a chicken. They still prefer the dusty, drafty barn full of cats that any day now will attempt to net themselves a large and delicious prize. Every dusk, we troop down to the barn, armed with brooms, to swat them out, lock the piglets in, and herd them into the general vicinity of the coop. 10 of them will always end up in the coop. But two of the original Splinter Group from the Long Chicken Winter War of 2011 still refuse, instead roosting in the tree behind the barn. Ah well, feral chickens.
Meanwhile, in somewhat less annoying animal news, the piglets look great. They, like the chickens, run wild over the land despite our best efforts with some temporary fencing to keep them a bit more central, so they have lost their foraging privileges until they learn to respect the temp fence some more, or until we figure out a better, safer way to rotate small ones through the pasture.
House arrest is nice and sunny.